How to avoid hidden travel fees when flying

OMAHA, Neb. (KPTM) - Families are now getting ready to book their vacations and, as you may know, airlines charge you for everything - from checked luggage to drinks.

Now, however, airlines are adding even more hidden fees.

"Basically, you have to have a backpack with a couple of pair of underwear, a couple pairs shirts, and then they won't charge you a carry-on fee," said Thomas Buford, who spends a lot of time at airports.

He flies twice a month to different cities checking out colleges with his son, so he's no stranger to airline fees.

However, travel expert Stacey Beebee says Buford is one of the lucky few.

He knows just how many hidden fees the airlines really tack on.

"Someone who travels a lot knows that checked luggage has a fee,” she said. “They're probably not surprised that the more premium seating has a fee nowadays."

Beebee says don't be fooled if you see airfares for less than $200.

"A low fare seems very attractive until you start saying, ‘OK they may charge for a seat assignment, they may charge for me to carry on luggage and check the luggage,’” Beebee said. “Those fees add up.”

FOX 42 went online to find out some of these costs.

According to

  • Picking a specific seat on Allegiant Airlines can cost up to $80.
  • Airlines like Delta and American also charge you, but those prices can vary from $5 and higher.
  • Carry-ons and bags checked can be as high as $75.
  • The first bag checked on Delta is $25, but your second bag can be at $100.

All these costs can be added to your ticket's value, making that $200 ticket over $300.

"A family of five may not want to forgo having a seat assignment and run the chance of not being seated together on a flight, so purchasing seats for a family of five add costs to an overall ticket," Beebee said.

If you do want to avoid those fees, you can click "continue" without picking an upgrade or simply select "skip."

This way, you will still get a seat, just not necessarily the one you want.

Experts also say to make sure you are booking the flight you really want.

Cancellation fees can be pricey as well.

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